Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chronic Monster Baiter, Mark Henry baits our taste in Music

Mark Henry aka Daniel Marks is an evil genius, his upcoming YA novel Velveteen is chocked full of teenage angst,serial killers, ghosts and the best kind of dark humor. (the sick kind) Mark and I have a friendship forged on 80's shoe-gazing music and horror films. Although our taste is wildly different, we do agree on many bands with only one exception..Well two really,The Cocteau Twins(which he craftily snuck into this post) and Tori Amos. That bitch scares me something fierce.
So without further ado, I give you Mark Henry...gird your loins

I remember the exact moment I stopped being a casual listener of music and became an avid fanatic. 1985. Tower Records in Tacoma. The album was a compilation of rarities and b-sides from the Cocteau Twins called The Pink Opaque. From the opening strains of the sublime Millimillinery I was hooked. The music was strange, the vocals near angelic and yet quite off. See for yourself.

Fifteen and drifting--I hated school and connected with very few of my peers—music was a safe place to explore some really out there ideas. And I was ravenous, I’d skip class and drive to Seattle with friends or sometimes alone to pour over bins of records and haunt the nightclubs and concert halls. Southern Death Cult (later just The Cult). The Mission (later the Mission UK). Skinny Puppy. My taste was always a little dark. But that soundtrack really was a good backdrop for my thoughts.

My head was full of monsters. It still is.

When I started writing—back in 2006—my musical taste had gone through all the appropriate phases for an aging goth kid; Industrial (Front 242, Ministry, Swans, Nitzer Ebb) gave way to shoegaze (Lush, My Bloody Valentine) and pretty soon, we were back in the eighties. Still are. I compiled lots of songs as set lists that I embedded into my first three books (HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED, ROAD TRIP OF THE LIVING DEAD, BATTLE OF THE NETWORK ZOMBIES). But I never used those songs as inspirations rather as accents for scenes. They were an afterthought.

When I sat down to write VELVETEEN, my first young adult novel about the victim of a serial killer plotting revenge from purgatory while her world crumbles around her, I specifically tried to do things differently. I wrote certain scenes to music, particularly the new wave of shoegaze exemplified by The Raveonettes. I love them. They have a retro, Jesus and Mary Chain vibe that destroys me. Here’s a Dead Sound:

They’ve got a fuzzbox…and they’re gonna use it (ten points for that reference)! By the time I got around to revising the book it needed to go a little darker. Luckily, Trent Reznor had traded in his bad boy hat for an orchestra leader’s baton and scored THE SOCIAL NETWORK, a great film about Facebook and Asperger’s Disorder, whether it’s mentioned or not. The themes he and Atticus Ross explore in that soundtrack were a perfect undercurrent for enriching my story with darkness. It certainly helps to get in a mood. Even if it’s a bad one. Here’s Hand Covers Bruise:

Feel the monotonous grating mechanics of it? Makes me stare into space and grit my teeth. Every. Time.

Well that’s it. My musical trip down memory lane is done. I’m going to go listen to some Book of Love and cleanse my palate from all of this darkness.

Just kidding.

Mark Henry writes adult urban fantasy, screenplays and young adult horror. He spends way too much time glued to the internet and collects books obsessively (occasionally reading them). He’s been a psychotherapist for children and adolescents, a Halloween store manager, has survived earthquakes, volcanoes and typhoons to get where he is today, which is to say, in his messy office surrounded by half empty coffee cups. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Caroline, and three furry monsters with no regard for quality carpeting. None.

you can find Mark Henry/Daniel Marks here~
on twitter~
Daniel Marks
Mark Henry

Daniel Marks

Daniel Marks


  1. Sounds like quite a journey through music. And cool to hear it's inspired too. :) Thank you for sharing these great songs!

  2. At sixteen, Velveteen Monroe was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem.
    The problem is she landed in the City of the Dead. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven either. Grey, ashen and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do there. Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.
    Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment he deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days.
    It'll be brutal...and awesome.
    But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting could actually crack the foundation of her new world, not to mention jeopardize her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.
    Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.